Sending Office: Honorable J. Luis Correa
Sent By:

Support H.R. 493, the Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act

Supported by: NORML, NCIA

Cosponsors: Carbajal, Cohen, Gaetz, Holmes Norton, Titus,

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to cosponsor the bipartisan Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act, legislation to provide stability and certainty to individuals, businesses, and programs operating in accordance with state cannabis laws.

In 2013, then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued a memorandum that enumerated conditions under which federal enforcement of cannabis would occur. The Cole Memo directed federal prosecutors not to interfere with states’ efforts to legalize cannabis
provided certain actions were taken. Among those actions were that states adopt reasonable regulations to prevent the diversion of cannabis outside state borders and the prevention of cannabis use by minors.

To date, ten states allow recreational cannabis while thirty states and the District of Columbia permit some form of medical cannabis use. 

In January 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo. That decision affects states that have in good faith implemented laws and regulations based on the Cole Memo. The repeal of the Cole Memo contravenes the will of the American public.
Furthermore, this decision will negatively affect numerous Americans who utilize cannabis for medical purposes.

In response, the Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act will prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting individuals engaged in activities related to medical or recreational cannabis permitted under state law. Prosecution can still occur
in the following instances:

  • distribution of cannabis to minors;
  • revenue from the sale of cannabis going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;
  • diversion of cannabis from States where it is legal under State law in some form to other States;
  • State-authorized cannabis activity being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis; drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with cannabis use;
  • the growing of cannabis on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by cannabis production on public lands;
  • cannabis possession or use on Federal property.

For more information or to become a cosponsor, please contact Emilio Mendez at in Congressman Correa’s office. 

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